(October 15, Stockton, CA) - Amtrak San Joaquins is pleased to announce that beginning October 18th, the Santa Monica Pier Thruway Bus stop, located at 1532 2nd Street, will serve as a new stop and terminus for Route 1c. Additionally, the provisions of SB 742 will be implemented on Route 1c, which was authored by Senator Ben Allen of Santa Monica, allowing the service to sell bus-only tickets for city pairs along the route - including those to/from Santa Monica.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, SJJPA initiated service reductions and changes to a number of routes, including Route 1c. The October 18th changes to the route are a part of a larger system wide schedule change.
Route 1c will operate four daily round-trips between Bakersfield and Santa Monica Pier, making intermediate stops at Santa Clarita/Newhall, Burbank Airport, Van Nuys, and Westwood-UCLA, connecting with San Joaquins trains at Bakersfield and some Pacific Surfliner trains at Van Nuys. San Joaquins trains take passengers throughout the Central Valley and to/from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Route 1c will also implement SB 742 provisions enabling bus-only ticket purchases. SB 742, signed by Governor Newsom in 2019, removed the requirement for intercity passenger rail/thruway bus services to sell companion rail ticket as condition of the sale. As such, by the end of the year, Route 1c passengers will be able to purchase a bus only ticket to all connecting cities, with the exception of the Santa Monica-Westwood city pair which is well served by local/regional transit.
"I'm so pleased to see our friends at Amtrak taking advantage of our bill that is helping make for a more coherent transportation system in our state by giving Amtrak customers access to bus-only tickets," said Senator Ben Allen (D - Santa Monica), Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and member of the Senate Transportation Committee. "This will not only increase the availability of public transit for Californians, but it will help with reducing emissions and congestion on our burdened freeways. I'm excited that Santa Monicans and Westsiders will have a direct connection to Amtrak's extensive transportation network, giving them access to so much of California and beyond."
The bill, authored by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), specifically allows Joint Powers Authorities, including San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA), Capitol Corridor, and the Los Angeles San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN), to pick up and drop off passengers on their Amtrak intercity thruway bus routes without requiring them to have a train ticket as part of their trip.
The availability of Amtrak's thruway bus routes to non-rail riders will have a range of positive statewide impacts, including but not limited to:
- Improved access to transit for priority and underserved communities
- Reduction in greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions by diverting trips that would have previously been taken by an automobile
- Reduced car trips on some of the state's most congested freeways
- Better utilization of current transit infrastructure
- Increased revenues for the state at virtually no additional cost
"Our Thruway Bus service provides the critical function of connecting passengers to their destinations, beyond where the train itself travels. We believe that the new Santa Monica stop will be very popular and will increase ridership and revenue," said David Lipari, Marketing Manager for the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority.
Plan and book ahead to make sure your seat is reserved. Routes, train schedules and station locations can be found at www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com. For inquiries, train passengers can reach out to Amtrak San Joaquins on Twitter at @SanJoaquins, Facebook and Instagram at @AmtrakSanJoaquins or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.
Health and Safety Aboard Amtrak San Joaquins Trains and Thruway Buses
In alignment with guidance from the CDC and state health officials for public transit, face masks will continue to be required on Amtrak San Joaquins trains, buses, and stations. Additionally, Amtrak San Joaquins will continue stringent cleaning and sanitation protocols to ensure the health and safety of passengers and employees. Disinfection wipe downs are performed multiple times each day on all high touch surfaces, and hand sanitizer is available for passengers. Amtrak San Joaquins encourages its riders to review the Visit California "Responsible Travel Code" for tips on how to plan thoughtful, safe, and respectful travel.
For passengers interested in monitoring capacity levels for trains and buses, travelers can utilize Amtrak's capacity indicator system. This online tool allows customers to see in real-time the percentage of seats sold for each trip option. This gives customers the opportunity to book a train that is less crowded if they choose or cancel the reservation if needed. Amtrak has extended the waivers on change fees and cancellation fees until January 4, 2022. Reservations can be modified online or on the Amtrak app for free, although a far difference may apply to the new itinerary. For passengers wishing to cancel their reservation with no fee, call 1-800-USA-RAIL and speak with an agent.
All discounts can be accessed at amtraksanjostg.wpengine.com/promotions/. Passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets prior to boarding at stations, online at AmtrakSanJoaquins.com, on the Amtrak app, or at a station kiosk.
About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)
Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com. Prior to service modifications due to the COVID-19 crisis, Amtrak San Joaquins ran 7 daily train round-trips and its Thruway buses provided connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno. To book your next trip, visit www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.